Q&A: Violetta Zironi

Italian-born singer-songwriter Violetta Zironi creates music that integrates a hint of nostalgia within its roots. Now calling Berlin her home, Violetta uses the glamour and romanticism of the 50s to produce music that is enchantingly vulnerable. Her recent single “When You’re Not Around” showcases her lush vocals and intricate melody blend. We caught up with Violetta to chat about her music, acting and why the 50s are inspiring. 

Hey Violetta, how have the past few months been for you? 

Hello! The past few months have been very busy, which feels great. I have a lot of projects I’m working on and it’s exciting!

Your new single “When You’re Not Around” is out now, which we love! Tell us more about the single.

I’m glad you love the song. Ed Prosek and I wrote it a few months ago, and it’s about a personal experience of mine. For the first time in my life, someone had written a whole Ep worth of songs about me. It was someone I’d dated, and who I broke up with two years ago. It felt strange, cause usually, I’m the one writing songs about people in my life. So all I could do really was to write a song in response.

The track was released through Ed Prosek’s label SCOLA Records. What’s it been like working with Ed? 

Working with Ed is always great. We share the same vision music-wise and visually, so the work is always really smooth. We share a passion for melodies and storytelling, which are the two most important elements in a song in my opinion. More than the arrangement or any other technicality. As long as there is a song, everything will flow. Ed is half Italian, so we also share the passion for Italian old music and we take a lot of inspiration from it. We work really fast and I feel like we have a method figured out by now.

There’s a real old-school vibe to the single which hints of the 50s laced throughout. What is it about that era that inspires you? 

Old-time music, especially from the 40s and 50s, is all about melodies and honesty. It can be over the top at times, but the authenticity behind it makes it very believable. I feel like they weren’t afraid of falling into what we now call “cheesy” at the time. Whatever felt good, they did it in the most authentic way, and the results were amazing. They weren’t afraid of coming across as pretentious, so to speak. I feel like sometimes nowadays we forget about certain elements that make a song special, the real musicality behind it. Melodies with a life of their own. The drama is hidden in the songs. Feelings become amplified. Very blunt. I love it.

You moved to London at 21 from Italy and are now living in Berlin. How has the different environments influenced your work? 

The best thing about living in different places is meeting the people who live around you. This allows me to get to know myself better, based on where I am. In different places, I bring out a different side of me somehow, a side I didn’t know until then. So the more I get to know myself, the more I can stay true to myself creatively.

Are there any other countries you hope to visit or go to when we can spread our wings again?

I guess I’d love to spend some time in the US and explore that market a bit. In terms of a personal wish, I’d love to visit Japan one day.

You also star in the Netflix film Rose Island. Does acting have an impact on your artistry? 

Working as an actor has taught me a lot about myself as well. I’m not really a trained actress, so once again, I had to step out of my comfort zone and get to know a new little part of myself. I didn’t think I could ever get cast for a comedy! And then it happened. The performance factor as well. The repetition. When you’re on set you to have to be ready and focused at any moment to do your part over and over again without losing the emotions. That was challenging. The biggest thing acting has taught me so far is how to control the space around me. How to be comfortable within my body and communicate with it. This came in really handy for live shows.

And finally, if you could work with any artist in the world, who would it be? 

And finally, If I could work with any artist in the world, I think I’d love to write a song with Paul McCartney. Or, if I could also bring him back to life, a duet with Chet Baker. I’d say he’s one of my top inspirations.

Thanks so much for chatting to us!

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Q&A: Violetta Zironi
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